ESPN founder, former Enfield resident releases new award-winning book

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. – Wednesday marked the forty fifth anniversary of the Hartford Civic Heart roof collapse. Within the early morning hours of January 18, 1978, the highest of the 3-year-old runway gave means beneath the load of heavy snow and ice. incorrect design He was lastly judged because the perpetrator.

Just some hours earlier, greater than 4,700 spectators have been within the constructing to look at a UConn males’s basketball sport. Had the meltdown occurred then, it could have probably been one of many biggest lack of life in a single day – greater than the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the terrorist assaults of September 11, the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, and solely after 1900. Galveston Hurricane when it comes to human devastation.

Invoice Rasmussen, a former Enfield resident whose son Glenn had performed ice hockey at Enrico Fermi Excessive College, was additionally concerned in sports activities on the time, serving as communications director and radio announcer for the New England Whalers of the World Hockey Affiliation. His son Scott, later generally known as the founding father of polling agency Rasmussen Studies, was the workforce’s public handle announcer, situated in a small sales space between the 2 penalty packing containers.

“After we have been allowed to come back again after the crash, an enormous piece of metal destroyed the broadcaster’s station and penalty space,” Rasmussen advised Patch in a cellphone interview Thursday. Upstairs in [team executive] Dave Andrews’ desk, an enormous metal beam resting the place his desk and chair had been.”

The workforce moved to the Springfield Civic Heart for the rest of the 1977-78 season, and performed there till the Hartford Constructing reopened in February 1980. By that point, the Rasmussens had lengthy been gone from the group, having been let go. Proprietor Howard Baldwin with a number of “non-essential” entrance workplace personnel over Memorial Day weekend in 1978 after the Whalers have been swept in 4 straight video games by the Winnipeg Jets within the Avco Cup Finals.

Left needing to search out work, and caught in a site visitors jam at Waterbury, the Rasmussens started brainstorming, ultimately deciding to type a small tv firm, ostensibly to cowl Connecticut-based groups such because the Whalers, Bristol Crimson Sox, and UConn Huskies. Their firm was referred to as the Sports activities and Leisure Programming Community: ESPN. The community launched on September 7, 1979, and the remainder is historical past.

The story of the Civic Heart’s roof collapse and the early days of the world’s first 24-hour sports activities cable community are amongst Rasmussen’s fascinating memoirs in a brand new e-book. “ESPN: One Large Leap For Fankind” is an 184-page journey by way of historical past – not simply sports activities, however Americana.

“The intertwining themes of sport, historical past and know-how take you thru the modifications which have taken place in my life over 10 many years and nonetheless proceed,” Rasmussen, who turned 90 in October, wrote. web site devoted to the e-book. Have a look inside to see who gained the World Sequence the 12 months you have been born. Discover out who gained the Heisman Trophy once you have been in highschool. Tremendous Bowl winners, NCAA girls’s basketball champions, and a lot extra are right here for each decade. From World Sequence on radio to TV first, then Broadcasting through satellite tv for pc after which connecting all the things wirelessly, My life has been thrilling – to this point!This journey by way of the evolution of sport, based mostly on modifications in tradition and advances in know-how, is the story from my life over 10 many years.Stroll with me with intentional optimism as we discover the huge expanse of the world And we make a optimistic distinction.”

Writer Headline Books describes the work as “a really superb and superb journey, fantastically offered. The most effective books of the 12 months.” Regardless of solely being launched in early December, the e-book just lately took residence prime honors on the 2022 New England E book Pageant.

“The e-book gives a tour of the historical past of sports activities with the person who modified it, combining his private journey with what was occurring on the time in our nation,” in accordance with the e-book competition. web site. “Referred to as by USA Right this moment because the ‘Father of Cable Sports activities,’ Rasmussen talks concerning the struggles, triumphs, and improvements that made ESPN a powerhouse in sports activities journalism.”

The founding and evolution of ESPN modified the historical past of sports activities, propelling Rasmussen to a twenty ninth place in a Sports activities Illustrated particular in 1994 titled “40 in ages”. Within the listing of the 40 most influential sports activities personalities because the journal’s founding in 1954, he has ranked forward of such legendary athletes as Pele, Bobby Orr, Sugar Ray Leonard, Nolan Ryan, Peggy Fleming, Julius Irving.

“I could not beat a horse, although,” he laughed, referring to the 1973 Triple Crown-winning No. 17 of Secretariat.

Co-authored with Donald T. Phillips, who has collaborated on works with Cal Ripken, Phil Mickelson, and different legendary athletes, “OGLFF” took prime honors within the literature/anthology class earlier this month at 2023 Southern California E book Pageant.

Rasmussen moved again to Florida final 12 months after spending a substantial amount of time in Washington state close to his daughter and grandchildren. He’s nonetheless in nice demand as a public speaker, however he has scaled again his actions in consideration of his age and age 2019 Prognosis of Parkinson’s Illness.

“ESPN: One Large Leap For Fankind” is obtainable by way of Rasmussen’s web site, espnfounder.comAnd throughout Amazon.

A groundbreaking, award-winning new e-book by ESPN founder Invoice Rasmussen. (Courtesy of Invoice Rasmussen)
Invoice Rasmussen with Enfield Excessive College hockey coach Amy (Bartholomew) Novak on the opening ceremony for the brand new Enfield Sports activities Corridor of Fame in 2019 (Tim Jensen/Patch)

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